Retired Navy Reserve Supply Corps officer, Rear Adm. Robert Harry Spiro, Jr
. passed away Oct 1, 2013.
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Rear Adm. Robert Spiro, Jr.
He was born Dec. 5, 1920, in Asheville, N.C., and was a combat Navy veteran serving in the Pacific Theater on one of the most decorated naval ships of World War II. He served aboard the destroyer USS Morris
(DD 417) as a Supply Officer and took part in eight major combat campaigns. His destroyer was struck by a Japanese Kamikaze plane and suffered a heavy loss of life during the invasion of Okinawa. This successful campaign ultimately helped end the war. He later earned a Bachelor of Science at Wheaton College and a Doctorate of history at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He was a professor of history at King College in Bristol, Tenn., and Mississippi College in Jackson, Miss., where he was also the tennis coach. He then became president of Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, N.C. In 1960, Dr. Spiro became the dean at Mercer University and then president of Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Fla., in 1964, where he served until 1980 when he was appointed by President Jimmy Carter as Under Secretary of the Army. In addition to his tenure as Army Secretary, Dr. Spiro rose to the rank of Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy Reserve retiring from the Navy after 38 years of service.
He also served as National Executive Director of the U.S. Reserve Officer Association in Washington, D.C. Dr. Spiro was heavily involved during the course of his life in many businesses, academic, governmental and charitable endeavors. He was the Chairman of RHS Imprinted Products, Inc., President of the National Security Caucus Foundation, President of the Florida Association of Colleges and Universities, and President of the University of Edinburgh's USA Development Trust. He was Chairman and Chairman Emeritus of the American Security Council Foundation and was instrumental in the Korea Baptist Theological University and Seminary.
His wife, three children, eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren survive him. A memorial service was held Oct. 5.